In 1982, brothers Jerry and Kenny Bell headed off to Arizona's Universal Technical Institute to learn the ins and outs of the HVAC field. When they came back to Elk Grove, they earned their chops at various companies while helping out with their father's new pizza parlor, Pizza Bell. In 1991, they decided to strike out on their own?two men in a pickup truck on a mission to repair and maintain heating and air-conditioning systems. Their only advertisements were flyers pasted on top of Pizza Bell boxes and willing strangers' foreheads.
They've come a long way since pizza-based advertising, employing an experienced staff of industry certified, professionally trained, background-checked and drug-tested technicians who thoroughly tune up air-conditioning units with a 30-point cleaning, calibration, and fine-tuning process. In addition to replacing heating and air-conditioning systems, their technicians can parachute to homes to inspect, maintain, and repair entire HVAC and furnace systems.
The greenery experts at Scotts LawnService respect each yard's eccentricities. By conducting an analysis that lists every lawn's strengths and weaknesses—from its turf density to the soil type—they can better customize their treatments to enhance a home's or business's outdoor landscape. The team uses professional Scotts products to fertilize the lawn and expel unwelcome weeds, spreading no more than necessary in order to help preserve the beauty of nature more tactfully than vacuum-sealing every tree.
All technicians carry certification from the Scotts LawnService Training Institute. They brandish their expertise to perform specialty services such as aeration, winterization, and weed control.
Common household pests such as ants, termites, cockroaches, flies, and spiders can carry up to 33 types of bacteria, including some that cause illness in humans. They can eat away at a building's framework, as well as a homeowner's ability to confidently sleep with his or her mouth open. This is why Terminix technicians aren't satisfied with simply eliminating current pest problems—they strive to also prevent future infestations, and they guarantee their ability to do so.
Terminix team members know all the obscure places where pests like to hide: in water-heater closets, fireplaces, the centers of donuts, plumbing penetrations, and the weep holes in wood veneer walls. Their response to an infestation varies depending on the home's unique situation, but services may include sweeping away spider webs and wasp nests from the eaves of the home, setting up traps, dusting and spraying interior or exterior crevices that are prone to pests, and spraying around the home's foundation.
Bushnells Landscape Industries boasts a vast array of décor for outdoor spaces and gardening tools, as well as flowers and plants, 90% of which are grown on-site. Shoppers can browse the nursery garden and green thumb through locally grown annuals ($3.98 each; three for $10.50) to add a splash of color to black-and-white front yards that were built in the 1950s. As 5-gallon hybrid roses ($27.98 each), 7-inch tapered candles ($4.50 each), or Cretan hand-thrown pottery ($75+) await to brighten porches, patios, and yards, thick-leaved succulents and spiny cacti ($4.98–$25.98) dissuade undiscerning vegetarians from devouring entire gardens.
Drill bits twist, measuring tape unfurls, and saws chomp through two-by-fours in ACE Hardware, where shelves dangle with scores of tools and other home-improvement essentials. Wall pigment by Ace Paint and Benjamin Moore beams across the color spectrum as faucet parts and cabinet hardware retool aging abodes and jury-rigged time machines. Large appliances, such as Honeywell space heaters, Perfect Aire air conditioners, and Cadet thermostats, keep indoor air at a comfortable temperature. Outside, bags of seed and compost join charcoal grills to brighten backyard celebrations as rolling hand trucks heft heavy lumber purchases or prefab doghouses for socialite canines. Tools, electrical tape, and other handyman essentials round out each location's array of fixative and creative supplies.
The equestrian trainers at Foxtail Farms conduct horseback-riding lessons for riders seeking leisure time atop a steed and for those considering competition. Amid a rural landscape of patchwork crop fields and untamed plains, horses lope, gallop, leap, and waffle on which shoes to wear that day as instructors lead intimate training sessions. Skilled in teaching the ins and out of hunter, jumper, and equitation riding, instructors help to foster horsemanship skills while preparing riders for many situations, including the show ring. Believing that success can only be found when both rider and horse have created a special bond, the trainers also work to create an atmosphere in which that bond can be nurtured and tempered.